How Much Weight Can You Lose by Drinking Water?

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Water is important to our well-being. Between 60 and 70 percent of our bodies are composed of water. It's no surprise then that a lot of fuss has been made about the benefits of water on our physical health and that water has been linked to weight loss. But to what extent can drinking more water really affect? How much does it really help?

Water bubbles
Water bubbles (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

What Water Does

Water is used by our bodies in many ways. It assists the body with digestion, the absorption and transport of nutrients, and the removal of wastes and toxins. Our blood, the major transport of nutrients and oxygen throughout our bodies, is mostly composed of water. It helps power our kidneys and is even used to regulate our body temperature through sweat.

Young man drinking water
Young man drinking water (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Does Drinking Water Burn Fat?

While water is both healthy and essential, drinking plenty of water does not directly burn fat in a significant way.

Drinking cold water can burn a small amount of calories–about 8 calories per glass–due to your body actively maintaining its temperature, according to an article on Chow.com. This is relatively negligible.

However, by replacing everyday, high-calorie and/or high-sugar drinks with glasses of water, you directly cut your intake of excess sugars and calories, which has a direct impact on your weight and health.

Mother holding child at drinking fountain
Mother holding child at drinking fountain (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Weight Loss With Water

According to Calories Per Hour, water is important to dieting and weight loss. Burning calories requires water. If you are dehydrated, your body's fat-burning processes slow. Water also helps remove toxins released when burning calories from the body. Dehydration decreases your blood volume, which limits the amount of oxygen reaching your muscles.

Maia Appleby wrote for Inch-Aweigh.com that the liver, which converts fat into useful energy, sometimes has to pick up the slack for the kidneys when they aren't fulfilling their roles adequately. Our kidneys are fueled by water, so dehydration can indirectly impair weight loss by diverting energy away from the conversion of fat.

Man reaching for water on exercise bike
Man reaching for water on exercise bike (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

How Much?

It is commonly suggested to drink eight 8-oz. glasses of water every day, but in reality this depends on several factors. Some foods, like fruits and vegetables, contain a decent amount of water inside them. If your diet has a lot of water-dense foods, the amount of water you need to drink will obviously be lower. Your weight, sex and age may also influence the amount of water your body needs.

A good rule of thumb to go by is the color of your urine. If it's colored, you probably need to drink more water. If you're urinating far too often, you might be drinking too much.

Appleby wrote that when first increasing water intake, you should expect to go bathroom quite often. This is because your body is flushing out water that it had been saving up.

Father serving salad
Father serving salad (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Signs of Dehydration

Your body gives off signs of dehydration. Constipation, headaches, poor concentration, being tired and reduced or discolored urine can all be signs.

Water for sale
Water for sale (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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